June 30, 2017
Upon media reports that the Trump Administration is demanding private information on voter rolls from secretaries of state in all 50 states, the Washington State Democratic Party called upon Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman to keep Washington voters' data private from the Trump Administration and its ongoing efforts to restrict voting rights.
Data requested by the "Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity" includes voters’ names, birthdays, voting histories, and the last four digits of Social Security numbers. While voting histories are public record and available by anyone's request from the Secretary of State's office, Social Security numbers are not.
The data was requested by Commission Vice Chair Kris Kobach, who serves as Kansas' Secretary of State and is known nationally as a leader in efforts to suppress the vote. Called "the King of Voter Suppression" by the ACLU, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Kobach blocked 18,000 people from registering to vote in Kansas, and Kobach has led efforts to pass discriminatory legislation in Kansas and elsewhere that make it more difficult for communities of color, young people, and lower-income people to vote and register to vote.
"The most important job of the Secretary of State is to protect free and fair elections. If Secretary Wyman goes along with Trump's request, she puts voters in our state at serious risk," said Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski. "If Trump wants information that's publically available, he should get it himself. But this is about something far more sinister. Republicans are planning an all-out assault on our right to vote, and this commission and this request are a big part of that. This has no place in Washington state and there's no reason that Secretary Wyman should share private information like Social Security numbers with Trump. We must protect our sacred right to vote."
California, Kentucky, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have already refused the Trump commission's request for voter information.